Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

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The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, commonly known as the Two Sicilies even before formally coming into being,[1] was the largest and wealthiest of the Italian states before Italian unification. It was formed of a union of the Kingdom of Sicily and the Kingdom of Naples in 1816 and lasted until 1860, when it was annexed by the Kingdom of Sardinia, which became the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. The Two Sicilies had its capital in Naples and was commonly referred to in English as the "Kingdom of Naples". The kingdom extended over the Mezzogiorno (the southern part of mainland Italy) and the island of Sicily.

The name "Two Sicilies" originated from the division of the medieval Kingdom of Sicily. Until 1285, the island of Sicily and the Mezzogiorno were both part of the Kingdom of Sicily. As a result of the War of the Sicilian Vespers[2] the King of Sicily lost Sicily proper to the Aragonese but remained king over the peninsular part of the realm. Although his territory became known as the Kingdom of Naples, he and his successors never gave up the title of "King of Sicily" and they referred to their realm as the "Kingdom of Sicily". At the same time, the Aragonese rulers of the island of Sicily called their realm the "Kingdom of Sicily". Thus, formally, there were two kingdoms calling themselves "Sicily"[3]: hence, the Two Sicilies


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